May’s Birthstone, Emerald, is a blue-green variety of beryl.
A member of the big 3 gemstones, It’s a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means it’s fairly soft and has a known treatment of being filled with tree sap to stabilized it.
First discovered in Egypt, it was beloved by Cleopatra. Today the best quality is mined in Columbia, Brazil and Zambia. It’s know to represent wealth, wisdom, eloquence and rebirth.
By far one of my favorite gems! Trapiche Emeralds.
When emerald miners first discovered these patterned gems, they called them trapiche, the Spanish word for the multi-spoked cogwheels rotated by oxen tied to a yoke to grind cane sugar.
Trapiche emeralds are found in the black shale host rocks of just a few Colombian mines in the western belt of the Eastern Cordillera Basin. Their appearance consists of a central core, six arms and black shale dendrites – a crystalline, branching tree-like structure that forms between the arms and around the core. They are visible when the crystals are viewed perpendicular to the c-axis and are often cut as cabochons to accentuate the six partitions.